Beauty addicts snapped up prestige cosmetics in the United States las year, according to figures published by The NPD Group. After a 19% decline in 2020, in the wake of the pandemic, the market strongly rebounded and surpassed 2019 levels (USD 18.8 billion). According to the market research firm, the industry generated USD 22 billion in 2021, up 30% from 2020 when sales only reached USD 16.1 billion.

Growing interest for makeup products

According to The NPD Group, with sales up 23%, the makeup category benefited from a return to consumer interest in makeup artistry. Sales of face makeup products, including foundation, primer, and tinted moisturizer, grew double digits, as did makeup-setting sprays and removers.

Growth was also observed for cream and stick blushes and other products prevalently used in YouTube videos and other social media.

To top that off, NPD notes that brands born from makeup artists and social influencers had the highest revenue gains among all the makeup brand types.

Beautiful outlook for hair care

Within the hair category (+47%), hairsprays, gels, mousses, and other styling products returned to growth in 2021, with hair-styling product sales up 45%, versus 2020. According to The NPD Group, the hair-styling segment is expected to rise another 15% in 2022.

More broadly, NPD expects growth in this category to continue through 2024, as people continue to return to more social activities in the months and years ahead.

Clinical brands drive skincare growth

Core skincare product sales, including facial cleansers, creams, and serums, grew between 15% and 24%, versus 2020, while the whole category grew by 18% in 2021.

Sales of targeted products, like eye and lip treatments, also increased. Clinical skincare brands (cosmeceuticals) contributed the highest revenue gains to the category. In 2021, clinical surpassed natural as the largest brand type in skincare, based on revenue.

Indulging in little luxuries

The fragrance category registered double-digit growth against both 2020 and 2019, as consumers looked to treat themselves. Sales of perfumes, colognes, and other fragrance juices increased by 61%, year over year, as sales of candles, reed diffusers, and other home scents grew by more than 20%. The fourth quarter accounted for 45% of fragrance category sales revenue in 2021, growing by 35% during the critical holiday selling season, found NPD.

As we move through 2022, the beauty companies that will thrive are those that harness the industry’s unique ability to spread joy, while also recognizing the opportunities of a changed consumer and retail environment,” said Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor at NPD. “We can expect more change to unfold in 2022, but, along with these changes, new opportunities for the beauty industry will present themselves.